Relocation Consideration

A survey gives insight into IT workers' reasoning to relocate for a job.

A lthough they'd rather not relocate at all, IT workers are much more willing to move for a job today than they were 12 months ago, according to a survey of 3,401 U.S. technology professionals. And if they do relocate, they prefer to stay close to home.

When deciding to relocate, most said the work they'll be doing—and the money—are primary considerations. IT professionals are far less likely to worry about the attractions of the new location, or even the company they'll be working for. When location is an issue, the availability of housing and the cost of living top the list. Least often considered: The proximity of friends and family, good schools, and employment for a spouse.

28 percent of tech professionals surveyed said they were so attached to their current location that, even if the only available job was hundreds of miles away, they'd search for ways to stay put. Tech professionals in New England, for example, often said they'd take a pay cut to stay in the area.

When it came to picking the worst, most bottom-of-the-list location for a new job, those taking the survey generally picked the area most geographically distant from their own. And those in the South were real homebodies.

Those who've made at least one move for a job are more likely to do it again than those who haven't tried it, the survey found. But respondents said they underestimated the impact their move would have on other household members—especially a spouse or partner—even if they had a helpful employer.

The few who reported that relocation was out of the question cited new family dynamics. Some couldn't leave aging parents, or children from a previous marriage. Some state laws mandate giving up child custody entirely in case of a move and, as one parent said, "No job in the world is worth that."


Would you be wiling to relocate for your next job?
Definitely would/probably would 56%
Not sure 20%
Probably would not/definitely would not 24%

How have your feelings about relocation (for professional reasons) changed in the last 12 months?
I'm more willing to relocate 47%
My feelings haven't changed 40%
I'm less willing to relocate 13%

If you had to leave your present location, where would you MOST like to relocate?
West coast 17%
Southern U.S. 15%
Northeastern U.S./New England 12%
Northwest U.S. 11%
Mountain States 10%
Mid-Atlantic U.S. 8%
Midwest/central U.S. 8%
Southwest 8%
Hawaii 5%
Anywhere outside North America 3%
Canada 1%
Alaska 0%

Which of the following did your employer supply when you last relocated for professional reasons?
(respondents could choose multiple responses)

Paid for packing and shipping my belongings 45%
Paid for travel expenses while looking for a new home 37%
Nothing: I paid for the whole thing myself 35%
Supplied temporary living quarters while I found a new home 34%
Gave me a lump sum to pay for all moving expenses myself 25%
Paid to transport one or more vehicles to my new location 24%
Paid for laundry, food, auto rental and other expenses during the transition 24%
Provided relocation counseling 15%
Provided assistance buying a new home 11%
Reimbursed home sale/purchase expenses (broker's fees, mortgage costs) 10%
Provided assistance selling old home 9%
Offered job placement services to spouse/partner 6%
Provided child care during the transition 2%

How important are the following factors when deciding whether or not to relocate for a new job?
(scale of 1 to5, 5 being most important)
The work I'd be doing 4.6
Money 4.4
Potential for advancement 4.3
Cost of living in new location 4.1
Whether employer pays relocation costs 4.0
Amenities/attractions of the new location 3.6
Climate 3.5
Available employment for spouse/partner 3.2
Schools 3.0
Proximity of friends/family 2.8